OTREC staff, accompanied by PSUís research and sponsored projects (pre-award) and research accounting (post-award) staff, traveled to Eugene on September 24, 2008 for a productive meeting with our institutional partners at the University of Oregon. Key UO faculty members provided updates on their research and education projects, and UO departmental and campus-wide administrators provided feedback on the past three RFP rounds and suggestions for further streamlining our processes. Research Program Manager Hau Hagedorn provided the group with information regarding project status updates. Director Robert Bertini reviewed some of the lessons we at OTREC have learned over our past two years of operation as well as looking forward to some of our future plans. Tina Frost wrapped up the presentation by speaking about the master subcontract. We appreciated the opportunity to visit our UO colleagues!

Prof. Anthony M. Rufolo, an OTREC faculty member in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning at Portland State University has accepted a position as a Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Secretary during a portion of the 2008-09 academic year. We look forward to hearing about this fascinating experience and important partnership between OTREC and USDOT.

OTREC was pleased to welcome Dr. Melissa S. Tooley, Director of the University Transportation Center for Mobility at Texas A&M University to Portland on September 18, 2008. We appreciated the opportunity to hear more about UTCM and compare notes on research, education and technology transfer accomplishments.

OTREC co-sponsored and faculty were active participants in the Transportation Research Board’s 11th National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities, held in Portland September 17-19, 2008 under the auspices of TRB Committee ADA30, Transportation Planning for Small and Medium Sized Communities. OTREC Advisory Board member Tom Schwetz was the conference chair. Also, Prof. Yizhao Yang, University of Oregon, presented Where to Live and How to Get to School: Connecting Residential Location Choice and School Travel; Prof. Marc Schlossberg, University of Oregon, presented Livable Communities, Public Involvement, & Participatory GIS: Computer Assessment Tools for Local Area Analysis; and Prof. Nico Larco, University of Oregon presented Fringe Density: Planning Tips for Overlooked Density in Suburbia. Also Prof. Bertini had the honor to introduce the conference keynote speaker, Sharon Wood Wortman.

It was nothing but sunny skies during PSU President Wim Wiewel’s special Umbrella Tour visit to OTREC and the ITS Lab. Rob Bertini and a number of transportation faculty member briefed the contingent on alternative transportation and traffic control. The participants included: Angela Abel, University Communications; Jeff Austin, Alumni Board President; David Bragdon, Metro Council President; Scott Burns, Geology Professor; Lloyd Daggett, Student Ambassador; Robert Mercer, Faculty Senate President; John Petersen, Foundation Board President; President Wim Wiewel, Portland State University; and Jennifer Williams, University Communications.

Rob Bertini and Hau Hagedorn met with Gail Achterman, Director of the OSU Institute for Natural Resources and Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission, to provide updates on OTREC and to discuss future research opportunities and partnerships to move towards transportation mobility services. Some view mobility services as a vital piece of transportation sustainability equation.

PSU President Wim Wiewel accompanied by the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean, Dick Knight, stopped by to tour the ITS Lab and visit with OTREC staff and ITS Lab students. President Wim Wiewel started his first day at PSU this past Monday with a bike ride to campus. Pictured from left to right: (back row) Sandeep Puppala, Alex Bigazzi, Melissa Leventhal, Dean Dick Knight, Michael Wolfe, Dr. Robert Bertini (front row) Ocean Ou, Carol Wallace, Dr. Kristin Tufte and President Wim Wiewel.

STEP members attended the 2008 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Anaheim, California. Students were able to interact with professionals from all over the country and learn about case studies that were divided into four categories; traffic engineering and design, safety, planning, management and operations, and conversation circles. Members also went on a special tour of the toll lanes on California State Route 91. This congestion priced road is one of the countryís few roads that generate enough revenue to fully pay all of its expenses. Dr. Christopher Monsere presented on the National Transportation Education Conference at the Current Practice in Professional Education and Training session. STEP also won the Student Chapter Web Site Award. STEP members also had the opportunity in the evenings to enjoy nearby Downtown Disneyland and Newport Beach. STEP would like to thank SALP and OTREC for their funding support. The picture on the left shows (from left to right) Dr. Christopher Monsere, Chengyu Dai, Rolando Melgoza, Huan Li, Alex Bigazzi, Lisa Diercksen, and Leah Tomlinson. (Written by Rolando Melgoza)

On August 21, Katie Drennan and Ante Vulin, from Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office, visited with OTREC and IBPI staff to learn more about the Consortium and the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Institute. Mary Rae Moller, Dr. Robert Bertini, Dr. Jennifer Dill, Dr. Lynn Weigand, and Hau Hagedorn participated in the discussion with Congressman Blumenauer’s legislative assistants.

On August 15th, over 30 high school youth from Oregon participated in design charette concluding the OTREC-sponsored Oregon Young Scholars Program. The young scholars were presented with a design problem earlier in the week and worked with their perspective cohorts (business, public health, planning and design, art and science) to educate themselves about the issue. The problem looked at the West Eugene Corridor as the next place to pursue bus rapid transit. Alternatives were identified, and the young scholars were charged with determining where the route should go. The charette included involvement from the young scholars and professionals from the Lane Transit District and the City of Eugene explore solutions to the design problem. On Saturday, the students gave a formal presentation to their parents and the City based on the results of the charette.